The Drum, the Doll, and the Zombie

The man's face was bloodless....He reached for Johnny. Johnny screamed. He felt a dead hand close on the back of his robe. The zombie held Johnny in its unearthly grip.

When Johnny Dixon, Professor Childermass, and Fergie Ferguson have a party for their friend Dr. Coote, they expect the evening to be a blast -- and it is! -- but not quite the way they have in mind. As Fergie pounds out a rhythm on a small drum, a howling wind shakes the house and something explodes. Soon Johnny, the professor, and Fergie are in a battle with the fearsome Priests of the Midnight Blood for Dr. Coote's life -- and their own.

"This ably devised bit of supernatural perfect for the pre-Stephen King set." - Booklist

About the Book

voodoo sketch

This is the ninth book in the Johnny Dixon series. It is the third book "completed" by Brad Strickland.

The only interior illustration that Edward Gorey is credited for creating is the frontispiece and not the sketch on page 125. Why? Strickland says, "I wanted a Voodoo symbol in one chapter, and rather than try to describe it, I sketched it out and sent it to [Gorey]. Mr. Gorey sent my sketch--MINE!--straight to the publisher with a note that said 'I couldn't do this any better. Run this.' I felt so elated."

Zora Neale Hurston
Johnny and Fergie find a book by Zora Neale Hurston that discusses voodoo.

During their travels through New Hampshire Johnny and the professor see the historic buildings of Strawbery Banke.

Peloponnesian Wars
The Peloponnesian Wars were not fought between Athens and a general named Peloponnesium.


Johnny Dixon
Byron "Fergie" Ferguson
Roderick Childermass
Charles Coote
Thomas Higgins


Todd Lamort
Mama Sinestra


Duston Heights, Massachussets
Durham, New Hampshire


Small drum
Voudon doll

Just as he decided that he had better go back upstairs and wake the professor, he heard something. A creak, stealthy and quiet, coming from the darkness of the cellar stairs. Johnny backed away. A dark figure moved in the blackness inside the cellar door. Johnny opened his mouth to shout a warning.

Someone lurched into the room, and the warning froze like ice in Johnny's throat.

A man had staggered out of the cellar. His hair was black, and his face white and bloodless, as if made of marble. His cheeks were sunken, his lips purple and pulled back from yellow teeth. But his eyes . . . they were the worst of all. They were filmed and blind, the cloudy color of light-blue chalk. Rimmed with fine black dirt, the eyes stared sightlessly straight ahead. He wore a black suit, and he thrust his arms before him, like someone sleepwalking. The appearance of anyone from that dark cellar would have shocked Johnny, but this man terrified him. This man was dead.